GOOD

Could This Camera Save You From Taking Clichéd Photographs?

Worried you’re about to snap a boring, generic picture? Camera Restrica will tell you if that shot is something new, or has been done before.

image via philippschmitt.com

Thanks to the rise in geotagging, photographers now have the power to not only tell a story with an image, but can point others to the exact location where the story took place. What’s more, data-minded observers can use geotagging to look beyond simply where a picture was taken, and instead get a better sense, in aggregate, of what sort of people are interacting with a specific place, and how.


But can geotagging actually make us better photographers, in general? Or, rather, can an understanding of the physical space in which we take a picture ultimately make our pictures suck a little less?

image via phillipschmitt.com

That’s the question behind Camera Restricta, a product concept from designer Philipp Schmitt. The thinking is simple: Many people waste time and energy taking boring or cliché pictures of the same things, without any thought toward creativity or uniqueness. To counter this, Schmitt’s camera would automatically connect with photography sites like Flickr and Panoramio, and count the number of photos taken within a thirty five square meter range of wherever the cameraman or woman stands. The greater the number of pictures taken in that site, the logic goes, the more clichéd any subsequent pictures would be. As Schmitt explains on his website:

If the camera decides that too many photos have been taken at your location, it retracts the shutter and blocks the viewfinder. You can't take any more pictures here.

[/vimeo]

Frequency of images taken in a specific location is not, admits Schmitt, the sole metric by which the uniqueness of photograph should be judged. But, he writes, “[the camera] might be a good indicator for the potential of taking a special photo at a place.”

Schmitt’s camera, which is created out of a 3D printed body housing a smartphone that provides the data connection, was created to fight what he calls the “overflow of generic digital imagery.” Just how generic is that imagery? To demonstrate what he means, Schmitt has created a brief video overview of a few offending locales:

[/vimeo]

Beyond his interest in encouraging more unique photography, though, Schmitt’s camera also speaks to ongoing issues around censorship when it comes to taking pictures in certain locales, or of copyrighted material. In this case, he writes, “[i]t's censorship that doesn't happen after, but before a picture was taken.” It’s a scary thought, to be sure, but one made all the more plausible as the world shifts wholeheartedly toward digital photography, and away from film.

For now, though, don’t expect to see Camera Restricta out in the wild anytime soon. Schmitt’s concept design is still just that: A concept.

[via the creators project]

Articles

The healthcare systems in the United States and the United Kingdom couldn't be more different.

The UK's National Health Service is the largest government-run healthcare system in the world and the US's is largest private sector system.

Almost all essential health services in the UK are free, whereas in America cost can vary wildly based on insurance, co pays and what the hospitals and physicians choose to charge.

A medical bill in the US

One of the largest differences is cost. The average person in the UK spends £2,989 ($3915) per year on healthcare (most of which is collected through taxes), whereas the average American spends around $10,739 a year.

So Americans should obviously be getting better care, right? Well, the average life expectancy in the UK is higher and infant mortality rate is lower than that in the US.

RELATED: The World Health Organization declares war on the out of control price of insulin

Plus, in the U.S., only 84% of people are covered by private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. Sixteen percent of the population are forced to pay out of pocket.

In the UK, everyone is covered unless they are visiting the country or an undocumented resident.

Prescription drugs can cost Americans an arm and a leg, but in the UK, prescriptions or either free or capped at £8.60 ($11.27).

via Wikimedia Commons

The one drawback to the NHS system is responsiveness. In the UK people tend to wait longer for inessential surgeries, doctor's appointments, and in emergency rooms. Whereas, the US is ranked as the most responsive country in the world.

RELATED: Alarmingly high insulin prices are forcing Americans to flock to Canada to buy the drug

The New York Times printed a fair evaluation of the UK's system:

The service is known for its simplicity: It is free at the point of use to anyone who needs it. Paperwork is minimal, and most patients never see a bill. … No one needs to delay medical treatment until he or she can afford it, and virtually everyone is covered. …

According to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States spent 17.2 percent of its economic output on health care in 2016, compared with 9.7 percent in Britain. Yet Britain has a higher life expectancy at birth and lower infant mortality.

Citizens in each country have an interesting perspective on each other's healthcare systems. UK citizens think it's inhumane for Americans have to pay through the nose when they're sick or injured. While Americans are skeptical of socialist medicine.

A reporter from Politics Joe hit the streets of London and asked everyday people what they think Americans pay for healthcare and they were completely shocked.

Health

Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Cocostation

Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

Dizaul

Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head

Speakman

Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

The Planet
Instagram / Leonardo DiCaprio

This August, the world watched as the Amazon burned. There were 30,901 individual fires that lapped at the largest rainforest in the world. While fires can occur in the dry season due to natural factors, like lightning strikes, it is believed that the widespread fires were started by loggers and farmers to clear land. Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro, cites a different cause: the actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

DiCaprio wasn't accused of hanging out in the rainforest with a box of matches, however President Bolsonaro did accuse the actor of funding nonprofit organizations that allegedly set fires to raise donations.

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The Planet